Owner Spotlight: Christine Witte of Experimac of Fenton, MO

We recently sat with Christine Witte from Experimac of Fenton, MO. She opened her store in April 2016 as a first time business owner.  Christine spent many years in the financial industry where during the first half of her career. With franchises across the country, Experimac is a trusted tech source for Apple® product repairs and upgrades, pre-owned sales and trade-ins for iPhone® devices, iPad® tablets, iMac® computers, MacBook® laptops and more. Additionally, we also sell accessories for these devices and offer same-day service for repairs and upgrades. We’re often able to fix your device while you wait. Experimac offers a 90-day warranty on all repairs because we want all of our customers to experience the Experimac difference.

Christine and her life partner, Chip Rhodes, are working the store together. When she first bought the store, he was really helpful because he had a lot of retail experience in management and sales. Combined with her operational background as well as her financial experience, they’ve made a success out of this business venture. She’s running some of the administrative side and taking care of the marketing while Chip focuses on the sales side. Christine has found that there is no beginning or end to the work day as a business owner. She explained that as a single mom, she often finds that she gets up early or stays up late to check emails, eBay listings for products or respond to quote requests. Life as an entrepreneur can be busy but Christine’s learned a lot along the way and places her customers at the top of the priority list. This has been getting Experimac of Fenton, MO some great reviews so it’s definitely the way to go.

EXPERIMAC: What was your background prior to joining Experimac?

Christine: I worked as a Risk Management Manager for Western Union. I managed the accounts receivable functions for their suite of products.  I had a very long career of 21 years with them.  I left that role to stay home with my daughter for about 6 or 7 years. I went back out into the business world and worked in operations for a couple of years in banking. Because of the financial crisis, Banking had become became highly regulated. The banks did some scrambling to try to keep up with what the government was throwing at them.  The environment was cut throat and very stressful.  I started thinking that I really just wanted to work for myself where I could have more impact and feel less constrained.

EXPERIMAC: What is your connection to the community? How long have you lived here? Why did you choose to go into business in Fenton?

Christine: I’ve lived in St. Louis my entire life. Chip has lived here for about 20 years. He’s actually from a small town south of St. Louis where he was born and raised and he settled here after college. It seemed like a great place to open a location since I’m from the general St. Louis area.

EXPERIMAC: Have you been able to get involved in the Fenton community? Networking groups, etc.?

Christine: Although it’s not a small town, St. Louis is considered a small town and everybody pretty much knows somebody you know. We do try to be involved. We participated in an event called Fenton Days, we were in the parade and we also had a booth and it was geared more towards businesses. It was a carnival-type event with a lot of booths and things for the kids to do, there was food and fun. It was a good event for us to get out and rub elbows with other businesses in the area. We also belong to the Chamber so we’ve been fairly active in the Chamber. We’ve attended a few events and also sponsored a couple of events and participated in grand opening for other businesses. We actually have a pretty good connection to the community; we’re fairly well-known by other Chamber members so we do get a fair amount of business from the Chamber. We’ve broadened ourselves a little bit and have gone outside of Fenton and attended a multi-city Chamber event.  We do participate with different user groups as well. Chip was recently involved with the Mac® user group in our area where he presented our concept and that brought some business into the store and also established us as an Apple® Computer authority in the area.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say has been the most interesting or exciting part of opening your own Experimac store? And the most challenging aspect of it?

Christine: Probably staffing has been the most challenging. When you’re working on other people’s equipment, most people consider their phones or computer equipment, as important as a child or spouse. You might as well be have their first-born in your back room. You just need to be very careful with people’s equipment.  The most interesting part is the people; we see such a broad range of people.  In my other career, most of my interaction with customers was over the phone, because I was in a back office corporate environment where I didn’t see people face-to-face, so it’s been very interesting and also very rewarding. You see so many different types of people and so many different walks of life.  I see people that are 12 years old standing at my counter with their parent because they broke their screen and 10 minutes later, a senior citizen might walk in because they want to get into the Apple® Computer market and they need a lot of hand-holding.  I was a little surprised about that part of the business,that I would enjoy getting to know people so much. We also have our share of crazy people walking in the door but that’s just few and far between and you’ll get that with any business. We do the best we can to make them all very happy.

EXPERIMAC: There really isn’t a typical Experimac customer, is there?

Christine: Definitely not. It might be more related to where our store is. To the south of us, it’s very rural but about 5 miles in the other direction, it’s a more affluent area. Our spectrum of customers is pretty broad.

EXPERIMAC: Are you guys doing the repairs yourselves or do you have technicians doing the work?

Christine: I have a couple of technicians that do the repairs. I tell myself every week that I’m going to go sit out there with them to learn so I don’t end up on the hot seat. Typically, the technicians are in an entry-level job so we have younger kids and I just haven’t had the opportunity to sit with them to learn. It’s on my list and I have aptitude for that sort of thing so it’s just a matter of making the time.

EXPERIMAC: What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers so far?

Christine: We’ve gotten pretty good feedback. Right now, we have all 5s in our reviews except for one 4 which was really related to something beyond our control and we have a 1 from a customer who was already irate when they came in to the store that we never had the chance to do business. There is a lot of reward in it because we get the opportunity to fix things for people who thought they were going to have to invest in a new device or they come in after visiting the Apple® store where they wanted to charge them $200 to fix something and we are able to do it for a minimal amount of money.

EXPERIMAC: Have you noticed any patterns in terms of the type of work you’re doing? Repairs, less upgrade or more upgrades or is it a mix bag?

Christine: It’s mixed. I get a daily string of repairs and then there will be a spurt of upgrades that comes in. All of a sudden, everyone that comes in has the older Macs® and they want the upgrades or they have a PC that’s loaded up with viruses and other issues.  We explain what is involved in repairs versus transitioning to a Mac that is readily available on the showroom floor, and usually they can see value in Apple® and showing them those differences makes sense.

EXPERIMAC: So, when you’re not working, do you have any hobbies or favorite pastimes?

Christine: I used to be a big gardener. The yard at my old house looked like it belonged in Better Homes & Gardens, but it’s not easy finding the time for that sort of yardwork anymore.  I also enjoy decorating but I’m struggling to finish those projects too. Sometimes you do get a day off and it’s so nice when you do. Chip and I had this discussion this morning. If you overschedule yourself and you don’t have any downtime, it feels like you’re on a treadmill and it’s important to sometimes take just a day and maybe take a nap or hop on a real treadmill. Doing something that’s just for yourself, not for other people but just for you. If you don’t, you start to go insane and feel like you’ve neglected yourself.  Balance is important.

EXPERIMAC: What would you say are the top 3 skills to be a successful entrepreneur?

Christine: Multitasking, organizational skills, and most importantly, in this business, people skills and relationship building.  For some people, talking to the general public is not a fun thing but if you make an effort to make connections with the people in your store by starting out with simple questions like their plans for the weekend or where their kids go to school, I find it makes a big difference. In this business, it’s very important to make connections. That’s probably going to be your next sale, somewhere down the road; it’s a good way to build relationships with people in the store. I’m pretty big on not letting my customers just sit in front of the TV waiting for their repair to be completed.  People need to feel comfortable when they’re in the store so they feel they want to come back.

Owning your own business requires a lot of time and dedication; it’s clear Christine Witte and Chip Rhodes are working hard and their success is paying off. If you live or work in the Fenton, MO area, stop by Experimac of Fenton, MO and see how they can help you with repairs, upgrades, or trade-ins of your favorite Apple® products. We’re confident you’ll feel right at home at Experimac of Fenton, MO and will receive excellent customer service.

Pre-Owned Apple® Store: Pre-Owned Apple Products That You Can Trust

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get right after you purchase a brand new phone. Possibilities seem endless as you hold in your hands a mobile device, which 92% of American adults possess and cherish. But what if you received this phone as a gift, and instead of being brand new, it was really a pre-owned product? How can you be sure that your new, beloved phone is as good as new? Does “”mint condition”” mean the same quality as fresh out of the box?

Located in St. Louis County, Experimac of Fenton is a growing retailer of pre-owned Apple products, we promise our customers the answers and attention they deserve in order to make the most educated buying decisions to satisfy their electronic needs. Tight budgets can afford our pricing, trust our warranty and benefit from the savings.

Reconditioning Process of Pre-Owned Apple Products

We’ve all heard that knowledge is power, and the same goes for understanding reconditioned products and their value. Not everyone has extra cash to invest in a new computer, but the option is available to look into buying a reconditioned device at a lower price. Fear of the unknown is dissolved when we take the time to learn about our investments. Experimac of Fenton makes it simple for any buyer to be a smart buyer.

All pre-owned apple products undergo a rigorous reconditioning process before they are marked for sale at Experimac of Fenton. Each and every product you find in our stores, whether it be a Mac® computer, iPhone® device, iPod® device, Apple TV® device, accessories or iPad® tablet, works just like new and meets our high standards. If you are one of 73% of the population who own a desktop or laptop, would you be interested in browsing our large, ever-expanding stock of pre-owned Apple® products, knowing each one is carefully cleaned, thoroughly inspected, and handled with the utmost care before you see it on our shelves?

Actions Gain Trust

Spend less and reduce the stress of your decision by reading the warranty. It never hurts to cover the “”what if”” scenarios before making a purchase. At Experimac, we pave the path to a risk-free purchase with our 90-day guarantee. If something breaks, we promise to repair or replace the defective part at zero cost to you! Experimac of Fenton is hands down the place to go to save money on pre-owned Apple products.

Stop by Experimac of Fenton in Gravois Bluffs and see what we have to offer!

Computer and Laptop Repair Services: Where to Get Your Mac® Products Fixed

Computer and Laptop Repair Services

How is your Mac computer holding up? Only 10% of Apple® laptops break down within 3 years of purchase, according to the latest Consumer Reports survey. If you have chosen an Apple brand product, you have made a wise choice. Still, even with the outstanding rank of highest reliability, Apple computers and laptops benefit from upgrades and repairs over time. Experimac of Fenton wants to help you keep your Apple products in tip top condition.

What’s wrong with my Mac computer?

Diagnosing what’s wrong with your Mac computer can be stressful. The more you use your computer or laptop, the more likely it is to acquire problems. At Experimac of Fenton, we have an expert team of technicians who can help you solve them.

Is your Mac computer not functioning properly?

Some of the most common issues experienced by Apple users include:

  • Water damage
  • Failed hard drives
  • Screen damage
  • Logic board failure
  • Slow program launch speeds
  • Low storage for photos and videos
  • Battery failure

On average, Apple laptops are used more than other brands; an average 23 hours per week versus the average 20 per week for all other brand laptops. If you are a frequent laptop user, take caution and bring your computer to one of our locations. Whether you want to repair a damaged product or look into upgrading your Mac computer with the newest hardware – we stock the highest quality Apple parts in house.

Computer upgrades and repairs

Specializing in computer and laptop repair services, Experimac of Fenton is fast, affordable and committed to helping you maintain your Mac products. We offer upgrades, including new batteries, faster RAM, increased space on your hard drive for photo and video storage and more. Since older and more frequently used computers and laptops have a higher failure rate, it is important to manage and monitor the upkeep of your device. It is true, Apple computers and laptops are proven to be less likely to break down than other brands, but when they do break down, the cost is higher to fix unless you know where to go. Here at Experimac of Fenton, we are committed to providing exceptional customer service and a 90-day warranty on all repairs.

Out of Warranty Repair: Apple Inc. vs. Experimac Repair Costs

Out of Warranty Repair

Imagine waking up on a Monday morning to find that your MacBook® laptop won’t turn on. All of your work and personal files are saved on your broken computer, and the warranty has just run out. Panic sets in as you begin the decision process of whether to replace or repair your broken laptop. Can you safely say that you know the cost comparison, and do you really  know all of your available options?

Replace vs. Repair

Laptop repair rates have gone down to 24%, down from 36% in 2010. Still, each time a device breaks, the costly and emotional decision of repair versus replace must be made. The answer lies in the repair rates. If you’re spending 50% of the cost of a new Mac® computer or iOS® device on your repair, then you might as well replace your product with a pre-owned model. Experimac of Fenton offers affordable pre-owned Apple® products if you decide replacement is your route. On the other hand, if you lean more towards seeking repairs, it is critical to do a price comparison between Apple Inc. repair costs and repair costs at Experimac of Fenton. In a 2013 online annual questionnaire, including 29,281 subscribers, Consumer Reports Magazine informs, “”People who used independent repair shops were more satisfied with the repairs than those who used factory service.”” Experimac will have your repair completed within hours of bringing in your device or by the next day. All things considered, we urge you to bring your broken Mac computer and iOS device, especially for those repairs that are out of warranty, to Experimac of Fenton.

Apple Inc. vs. Experimac Repair Costs

If you have ever been on Apple Inc.’s repair pricing page, you have seen the outrageous repair costs. Apple Inc.’s out of warranty costs are even higher. If you scroll to the bottom of their pricing page, you will see a disclaimer stating, “”Your replacement iPod® device might be new, used, or refurbished. If your original iPod device was damaged as a result of an accident or abuse, service might not be available“”. If your Mac computer or iOS device just broke, the last thing you need is to break the bank or be turned away. And don’t forget how quickly we can get the repairs done in comparison to shipping your device away for days at a time. Experimac of Fenton offers affordable repair rates, even for out of warranty repairs. We are a growing store selling pre-owned Apple products and we are committed to providing exceptional customer service and a 90-day warranty on all repairs.

Pre-Owned Mac® Products: Choosing Pre-Owned Apple® Products, What You Need To Know

Ask any long-term user of Mac products what they love most about their computer and more than likely they will say – reliability. Mac products are not sold in the volume of other computers; they’re more expensive and are sometimes intimidating to PC users. Additionally, gaining access to test out the usability of Mac products can be very limited in some areas specifically here in Fenton. Buyers who are on a tight budget often find even the most affordable Mac computers unobtainable which can lead them to consider purchasing a pre-owned model. Of course purchasing anything pre-owned comes with risks.

Here are some tips for purchasing a pre-owned Mac product:

What is a pre-owned Mac product?
Pre-owned Mac products can include gently used Mac computers, Macbook® laptops, and iPad® tablets that were traded in for an upgrade or bought out-right for rebuild. Pre-owned Mac products are inspected, repaired, and tested prior to being sold at a lower cost. At Experimac in Fenton, we are proud to offer our customers a 90-day repair or replace guarantee on every product you purchase.

Why purchase pre-owned Mac product?
Mac products are known for their sleek design, reliability, and cutting edge technology – not to mention their easy usability. Unfortunately, brand new Mac computers can cost a hefty penny. Pre-owned machines also offer the high reliability and ease of use like brand new Mac computers but at a much lower price point. Buyers can feel confident that their investment is in a high quality machine that functions just as it would if it came from the Apple store.

How much savings can you expect?
Pricing for each pre-owned product is unique and based on the age and computing capability of that product. While there are no exact savings that we can guarantee for each of our pre-owned Mac products, our pre-owned prices tend to run 40% to 60% of a comparable new product.

What about warranties?
Experimac of Fenton is proud to offer a 90-day repair or replace on every pre-owned Mac product that we sell. We also offer our customers a full 7 days to familiarize themselves with their new product ensuring that they can feel confident that they have purchased a product that meets or exceeds their expectations.
Owning a high quality machine doesn’t have to break the bank. Experimac Fenton has a large inventory of pre-owned Mac products such as iMac® computers, MacBook Pro® laptops, and more that can fit your needs and budget. If you or your family is in need of a computer, consider stopping by your local Experimac store to try out a pre-owned Mac product. Our trained staff can answer any questions you might have about taking the plunge.